World of Xophe

Where Every Day is Xmas

Welcome!

I'm Christophe. This is my world. I created this website to share some of my interests and my motley life, and to have somewhere to play around with newer web technologies. Click the button to learn a little bit more about your humble host. Read More...

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My Journey

From 2007 to 2014 I suffered from a debilitating illness, LPR (laryngo-pharyngeal acid reflux), which took two surgeries and endless determination to recover from. This has been my life's longest, and greatest, challenge so far. Read More...

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Vacation in Japan

During the height of the cherry blossom season last March, I took a week-long tour of Okinawa, Kyoto, and Tokyo. The people, the food, and the sights were all worth writing home about...and I took plenty of pictures. Read More...

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ColdFusion 10

Coldfusion

Is Coldfusion dying? Opinions differ, often passionately. Here's the take of a developer who's been with it since CF4, … more

Playing Cards

Texas Holdem

Ah, No-Limit Texas Holdem. It's hard to say anything about the most popular form of poker today that … more

Key

Cryptography

As a kid, I remember being all into spy-ish stuff. Secret code rings. Invisible ink. Solving mysteries from … more


From My Photo Gallery

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. From 2013 trip to Spain
Photo by: Xophe Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. From 2013 trip to Spain
Flamenco Dancer in Madrid. From 2013 trip to Spain
Photo by: Xophe Flamenco Dancer in Madrid. From 2013 trip to Spain
Mikamiso, princess of the house
Photo by: Xophe Mikamiso, princess of the house
Helicopter lesson, birthday 2014. When I had (much) longer hair
Photo by: Katty Helicopter lesson, birthday 2014. When I had (much) longer hair

Special of the Week

This is one of my original dishes -- Chicken with tomato and mushroom tapenade. Easy to make, healthy, and very tasty. Serves 2.

    Ingredients:
  • 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 1/2 Vine-ripe Tomato
  • 5-7 Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Fresh Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine

I don't know if it's an Italian thing or a me thing, but I dislike being given exact measurements by recipes unless it's completely necessary, i.e., something won't rise when it should, or will explode when it shouldn't. As when doing a cover of someone else's song, the rule is "MIYO" -- make it your own! Food is meant to be prepared according to taste. With this recipe, I recommend using 1 1/2 to 2 times more mushroom than tomato. Otherwise, please feel free to use my measurements as guidelines and adjust as you like.

Heat a frying pan with canola oil, or your oil of choice. Just realize that olive oil is meant to be cooked with medium heat at the hottest -- else, a lot of its nutritional benefits get burned off. Cut the chicken breasts into cubes, about a half-inch to an inch thick. Cut tomato and mushrooms into smaller pieces, so they'll blend easier in a food processor. crush or chop the garlic cloves. Add tomato, mushroom, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, pepper, and salt into the food processor, and blend until you have an even brown paste, without any significant chunks. The garlic and pepper are what give a it a little bite, so scale back on these (or scale forward) as you like. Scrape the mixture out into a bowl, add the red wine, and stir with a spoon.

Cook the chicken cubes in the pan on medium-high heat, stirring/flipping them frequenty so that no side is raw. It's very easy to overcook the chicken so that it's too dry, so after six or seven minutes, take a out a cube and cut it in half. If there's any pink in the center, cook for another minute and then check another cube. When it's white all the way through, turn off the heat and let the chicken sit in the pan a minute longer. Then move it to the plate(s), and fold the brown tapenade on top. This goes well with 1/2 cup of wild rice for each serving and a side salad.

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Fun fact:
Calling the sauce in this recipe a "tapenade" is a misnomer -- "tapenade" is actually defined as a puréed mixture of black olives, anchovies, olive oil, and capers. I just called it tapenade because it sounds cooler than "sauce". But now my shameless lie is exposed, and you can easily add black olives and/or anchovies and/or capers in the mix if you like. Don't add the pinch of salt if you do, unless you want it to taste really salty!

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Fun Fact++:
Extra virgin olive oil is made by simply crushing olives and extracting the juice. It is the only cooking oil that is made without the use of chemicals and industrial refining. For olive oil to be considered extra virgin, it must have no taste defects. It needs to have a nice flavor of fresh olives, and achieve higher scores in lab tests for its chemical composition than other grades. Since olives are considered a fruit, extra virgin olive oil is essentially fruit juice without any additives.